Friday, 17 March 2017

17 March 2017

Last week, pupils visited the moon, ventured into the heart of a volcano and even travelled back in time to an Anglo-Saxon village with Google Expeditions! Children from both Junior Schools and in Year 1 and Year 2 at Beech House Infant School were able to take part in these virtual reality adventures which got pupils excited about learning in a wide variety of curriculum areas.

The Junior Boys raised £1,350 for the Breast Unit at Royal Bolton Hospital. They were motivated by School Secretary and Old Girl Mrs Iddon's breast cancer diagnosis a year ago, and the boys threw themselves into designing wrapping paper to sell at the Christmas Fair. Additional funds were raised by the Parents' Association. Surgeon Clare Garnsey, also an Old Girl, and Nurse Mal Sheridan came into School to accept the donation during assembly.

Sixteen Girls' Division pupils were selected at trials to join the U15 Lancashire Lacrosse A and B teams and reserves. One pupils was even selected as the A team captain!

Gifted and talented pupils from a range of schools across the North-West came to Bolton School for an English and Design and Technology Saturday Challenge workshop based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. They were able to get involved in a range of activities as part of this experience, aptly named 'The Mechanics of the Mechanicals'.

Current Year 13 students in the Boys' Division took advantage of technology to hear from two Old Boys this week via Skype and FaceTime. They connected with tech entrepreneur and investor Rob Dobson and with investment banker Adam Crook. Both Old Boys spoke about their career paths and offered advice for the future.

The Junior Boys enjoyed a wonderful concert from four Senior Boys who recently won their sections at the Young Musician of the Year competition. The younger pupils very much enjoyed the varied programme of music.

Children in Year 1 at the Infant School recently visited Knowsley Safari Park to learn more about the animals there! They had fun getting up close and personal with all kinds of creatures, from tall giraffes to tiny hissing cockroaches.

Badminton player Shreya Kamath in Year 9 has been selected to play for Lancashire at the upcoming Under 18 Inter County Badminton tournament in April. She has already won several gold medals at U14, U16 and U18 level in Badminton England tournaments.

Old Boy James Dunne's love of dance began at the School's Strictly Dance Club several years ago. He is now entering a charity dance competition to support Christie's and returned to School to collect a donation, and also to dance with current members of his old club!

Junior School pupil Vlada Kozak has been called up to the Great Britain tennis team and will take part in a French national tournament next week! She is currently the number one player in her age group.

Children in Year 2 at the Infant School have been whipping up delicious treats to enjoy as part of their Baking Club.

The U14 Netball team last weekend won the Bolton Schools' Netball Tournament after a tense final played against Turton School.

This week the School hosted a 'Bad Day at School' conference, organised by Ease Training. Girls' Division Headmistress Sue Hinks was one of the afternoon speakers at this event, which offered advice to schools on what to do when problems arise.

Sports enthusiasts at Bolton School recently heard from massage therapist Sally Barker, who in 2016 travelled to Rio to support the GB team at the Paralympics! She spoke to them about this amazing experience and also offered inspirational career advice.

Infants have been comparing the toys of today with those from the past, most recently by weighing and measuring their favourite toys.

Click here to watch the clip from North West Tonight about Old Boy and chess grandmaster Nigel Short's recent visit to Bolton School, when he faced more than twenty pupils in a simultaneous chess match!

This week's Inspiring Mind is Lord Peter Smith, and Old Boy who attended the School from 1956 to 1964 on a scholarship. He trained at the London School of Economics and went on to become a lecturer, teaching politics and economics at colleges in London and then Manchester. He has a long career in local government, beginning in 1978 when he was elected Labour Councillor to Wigan Council, and was given a life peerage in 1999 for his services to local government. In his profile, he talks of his fondest Bolton School memories of trek camps and teachers, and offers the advice to 'never stop learning' to current pupils.

Friday, 10 March 2017

10 March 2017

Professor Jeff Forshaw helped pupils, staff and members of the public to contemplate the origins of the universe when he visited the Girls' Division as part of the series of enrichment lectures hosted by the School this year. Based on his popular science book Universal, co-authored with Brian Cox, his talk touched upon the some of the most fundamental questions about the Earth, Sun, Solar System and the star-filled galaxies beyond.

The U18 Water Polo team shone in the final round of the national ESSA U18 Water Polo Championships. Following three years of success, the pressure was on to continue the School's winning streak, and the Boys' Division team did not disappoint. They held the title for a fourth year, winning the final with a score of 8 goals to 1.

Click here to watch the U18 team in action against H.A.B.S. in the Final.

The School welcomed delegates from both Divisions and Westhoughton High School along with guests for a conference focused on community action. Pupils heard from speakers about adult volunteering: why people do it and what they find rewarding. There were also discussion groups in which pupils could share their volunteering experiences and give their opinions on the Bolton Vision in conversation with a representative of Bolton Council.

Later on the same afternoon, the School hosted the second national Schools Together meeting, and the first to be held in the north. The subject was partnerships and how the worth and impact of independent and state schools working together can be measured. Guests and speakers from a variety of state and independent schools attended along with Christina Astin, Chair of the Schools Together Group, for this useful and informative event.

Over half term, a group of Sixth Form girls visited Berlin as part of their A Level German studies. They discovered more about German culture and history during the trip as well as putting all of their language skills to use, and experienced everything from a chocolate workshop to a trip to the Reichstag!

Also during the holidays, girls got into the creative mindset with a week of creative writing at Patterdale Hall. They sailed on Lake Ullswater, visited tranquil waterfalls and Wordsworth's home, and received expert tuition from Tobias Jones, novelist and Peter Sansom, poet. The pupils produced an anthology of work following their week at Patterdale and all felt they had improved their creative writing craft by the time they returned home.

The U12s football team has made it to the semi-final stage of the Greater Manchester Cup! The team made it to the semi-final following a dramatic quarter-final against Altrincham Grammar School that went into extra time.

Girls' Division pupils in Year 10 presented a representative from Christie's with a cheque for over £1000 following their Christmas Post fundraising! The girls sold cakes and sweets in the run-up to Christmas and managed to raise this significant sum for the charity.

The Young Musician of the Year Final has been held in the Boys' Division, with a wonderful quality of music on show yet again. Adjudicator Jennifer Downing had the challenging task of picking the Junior and Senior winners, Junior and Senior Composers of the Year, and choosing the recipient of the Most Promising Performer award.

Year 12 students enjoyed a day learning about the World of Work, with talks from a wide range of professions. Seven alumni spoke to the Sixth Form on the day, including Charlie Ball, who gave the keynote speech: "Is it worth going to university?" The whole of Year 12 made the most of the opportunity to ask questions and discover more about potential career paths.

Children in the Nursery Class read the story of 'The Three Little Pigs' and took part in related activities this week. The children had fun and learned lots of new things!

On 27 March 2017 at 7pm, the School will host a free, public lecture from Senior Medical Physicist Dr Heather Williams on "Seeing Inside - Imaging the Structure and Function of the Human Body". She will talk about how PET, CT and MRI scanners work, what they show us, and the latest generation of hybrid imaging technology. This promises to be a fascinating evening. Everyone is welcome to come along.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Karen Diggle, who left the Girls' Division in 1976 and is now a Governor of the School. While studying History at Nottingham University, she discovered a passion for coxing and eventually joined the British National Ladies Rowing Team! She is now the Managing Director of Chamberlain Doors. Her profile talks of her lifelong involvement with the School, her happy memories of teachers and the supportive environment the Girls' Division provided.

Friday, 3 March 2017

3 March 2017

Gifted and talented sports pupils as well as Junior School pupils were delighted to meet Olympic and World finalist runner Eilish McColgan just a few days ahead of her performance at the European Indoor Championships. Her message of perseverance and resilience came across strongly as she recounted the injuries she has suffered, and how they did not stop her from realising her dream of competing at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Children across the Foundation enjoyed a range of literary celebrations in honour of World Book Day's 20th anniversary.

The focus for the Junior Girls was on character, and pupils came into School dressed in outfits to depict a host of figures from literature, from poetry, from myth and from history! The day was filled with book-related activities from start to finish, and the girls enjoyed sharing their favourite stories as part of the festivities.

In both Divisions, pupils could hunt for and keep 'Found, Not Lost!' books that had been hidden in obscure locations around the School. The Girls' Division held the 'Big Book Bake Off', which encouraged pupils and staff to recreate books in cake form. The Library also hosted the Scholastic Book Fair.

The Infant School donned a wide range of costumes for the day with everyone from Dennis the Menace to the BFG roaming the halls of Beech House on World Book Day! Not to be outdone, the staff also put on their best literary dress for the day and enjoyed sharing their characters with the children.

Children at the Nursery brought their favourite characters to life with a host of costumes, from fairytale princesses to comic book superheroes! They enjoyed face-painting, visits to the local library and drawing pictures of characters from books.

Pupils from 13 Ogden Trust Partnership schools attended the Physics Olympics, which was once again hosted by the Boys' Division. All of the teams had fun completing the five challenging physics tasks and answering the quiz questions throughout the day, using their scientific knowledge and practical skills to achieve the best possible scores in the competition.

A variety of speakers from a wide range of careers spoke to pupils as part of the NHS Careers Day at Bolton School. Three alumni returned to talk about their work as a pharmacist, a junior doctor, and an Operating Department Practitioner. In addition to a host of sessions tailored to specific career paths, pupils were enlightened by Dr Mohmmed Jiva's keynote speech on the evolution of a new National Health Service.

The Year 11 girls were introduced to National Citizen Service (NCS) at Bolton Lads and Girls Club for the seventh year running. This scheme puts pupils into a mixed group with young people from across Bolton, with the aim of them making new friends, improving their skills, and ultimately delivering a project to aid their local community by the end of the NCS programme.

Roman Mysteries author Caroline Lawrence visited the School to talk to Boys' and Girls' Division pupils in Year 7 and Junior Girls in Year 5 about her work. She also discussed the destruction of Pompeii and her Classical influences, the use of archetypes in writing, and her new series of books, the Roman Quests, set in Roman Britain.

Junior Boys' School pupil Henry won the downhill slalom at the Obergurgl Village Race during the half term holidays! Henry skis just ten days a year in Austria, but nonetheless beat tough competition to win this race again 242 other children.

A weekend drop-in session for parents at Bolton School's Nursery to help them to understand different aspects of the Early Years’ Foundation Stage. They were able to get ideas for activities to try with their child or children to benefit learning.

The Venerable Jonathan Boardman, Archdeacon of Italy and Malta and Chaplain of All Saints, is an Old Boy of the School. He recently welcomed Pope Francis to his Anglican church in Rome, with the visit making history as the first time the pontiff has visited an Anglican church in the city.

Luxe & Co, Anime and Mugs Away were the three Young Enterprise teams from Bolton School Girls' Division who plied their wares at the Trafford Centre trade fair. Jewellery company Luxe & Co won the highly commended award from the Young Enterprise Manager for Greater Manchester!

Before the half term break, the Girls' Division held its annual Music Festival. This year, there were new categories such as 'Open Mic' to tempt even more performers to take part, and the adjudicator was very impressed with the standard throughout. The two-day event culminated in a fabulous Celebration Concert which showcased the girls' musicianship.

Roughhouse Theatre brought When The Eye Has Gone, a poignant play about the life of cricketer Colin Milburn, to Bolton School. The School community was joined by members of the public for an evening of entertainment which was by turns funny and sad. Prior to the performance, Boys' Division pupils interviewed the one man show's actor and director.

Recently Nursery children in the Butterfly Room enjoyed a visit from a dentist and learned more about the job. They used model tools to have a go at being dentists themselves.

Recent leaver Teddy Pender has won the 100m US Freestyle title at the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Swimming Championship meet in Middletown, Connecticut. He was cheered on to glory by his Bates College coaches and teammates.

Last week's Inspiring Mind was Michael Griffiths, an Old Boy who is now Bolton School's Chairman of Governors. After leaving the Boys' Division in 1965, he completed a gap year on VSO and then studied Industrial Economics at Nottingham University. After a few years as part of a large firm, he decided to take his career along a more entrepreneurial route. He became Chairman of the Governing Body in 2007. He fondly recalls some recollections of his time as a pupil as part of his profile and celebrates the staff who taught him.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy Nigel Short, who attended the Boys' Division from 1976 to 1981. He became the youngest International Master in chess history at the age of 14 while still a pupil, and went on to become the youngest grandmaster in the world. His profile charts his illustrious career, and also recalls some of his favourite Bolton School memories.

Friday, 24 February 2017

24 February 2017

Bolton School was delighted to welcome Old Boy and chess grandmaster Nigel Short as he returned to inspire the current crop of chess players. This culminated in a tense two and a half hour simultaneous chess match against twenty-three pupils, aged eight to eighteen and hailing from the Junior and Senior Schools. Although all were ultimately defeated, this was undoubtedly an unforgettable experience for them. As part of his visit, Nigel also gave a stimulating account of his recent match against Sergey Grigoriants during a talk to Boys' Division chess enthusiasts.

A series of clips from Nigel's simultaneous exhibition match against twenty-three Bolton School pupils can be viewed here.

Boys in Year 8 impressed their peers and teachers in the annual Gymnastics Vaulting Final before half term. Seven boys took part in the last stage of this competition, which began with the whole of the year group competing in heats, and all finalists showed off their consistency and skill over the course of four vaults.

Two Boys' Division pupils have attained impressive achievements with the Independent Schools’ Football Association (ISFA) recently. James in Year 12 has been awarded his full ISFA International cap, while Johsn in Year 11 has been selected for various ISFA National U16s squads.

Tickets are now on sale for this year's Joint Production of Miss Saigon. The show will run from 22 to 25 March 2017 and tickets are available to purchase at break and lunchtimes (£6 each).

There is also still time to buy tickets for When The Eye Has Gone, the visiting production about the life of cricketer Colin Milburn, coming to Bolton School on 1 March for one night only! This one man show is produced by Roughhouse Theatre and was commissioned by The Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA). Tickets are £10 and booking details are available here.

Friday, 17 February 2017

17 February 2017

The Infants at Beech House had lots of fun in the run-up to half term with their Arts Week! Pupils celebrated their achievements in music, art and dance and were able to try lots of new things, from African drumming to Inuit clay sculptures to Gum Boot dancing.

The Junior Girls collected a rainbow of coins for charity! The girls showed their support for Ethiopia-based charity Rainbows4Children by coming into school wearing rainbow colours and giving a £1 donation. The money was then laid out into a spectacular 'rainbow' on the playground, with an estimated £800 raised in total!

Boys' Division pupils in Year 11 learned more about the National Citizen Service (NCS) scheme and how they could get involved at Bolton Lads and Girls Club. During their visit they got to try a host of fun activities while also finding out how NCS could help them to assist their local community, make new friends and build on existing skills and develop new ones.

Thirteen Girls' Division pupils have been selected for the U13 Lancashire Lacrosse squad, including one Junior Girls' School pupil! The girls made it onto the A and B squads and will go on to play at the Northern Counties tournament.

Children at the Nursery celebrated Valentine's Day with baking and crafts, and by dressing in their best red and pink outfits for the day!

Girls' Division pupils Elly and Lucy won eight gold and silver medals between them at the Lancashire County Swimming Championships! Year 7 pupil Lucy came away with three gold and two silver medals, while Year 8 pupil Elly won two gold medals and one silver.

Year 8 pupils learned more about the vital work that guide dogs perform for Toni Forrest and her labrador retriever guide dog. Toni explained about the difference a guide dog makes for someone who is blind and how a person is matched up with their dog.

The Junior Girls enjoyed a day filled with Russian fun on the annual Modern Foreign Languages Day, which this year was themed around Stravinsky's ballet The Firebird. Pupils and staff from the Boys' Division helped out with the activities and the girls were able to find out more about the Russian language and culture.

Girls' Division pupils represented Bolton Town at the recent Greater Manchester Cross Country Championships. The four pupils were selected for the Bolton Town team after competing well in the Bolton Schools' Championships in October.

At the end of the half term, Mrs Kathryn Critchley and Mrs Maureen Drinkwater retired after having spent almost sixty years at Bolton School between them! Mrs Critchley, who joined the School in 1974, was able to recall teaching some of the current pupils' mothers and aunts. Both were showered with gifts, including Hesketh House bears and Port Sunlight roses and other personal gifts.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Girls Laura Moss, who attended the Girls' Division from 1994 to 2001. After leaving School she became a lawyer for a few years, but then quit her job and spent sixteen months cycling around the world! On her 13,000 mile trip, she visited twenty-seven countries and journeyed across Europe, the Middle East and Asia to Australia, before returning home across the USA. Following her life-changing experience, she founded and still directs the Cycle Touring Festival, encouraging others to make journeys by bicycle.

Friday, 10 February 2017

10 February 2017

Following the Inspection in December 2016, the Boys' Division has been officially awarded the top rating of "excellent" by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. The new format report judged the pupils' academic and other achievements to be excellent, and the quality of personal development is also excellent.

Last week, pupils in Years 8 and 9 put on their student-devised promenade production of Wonder. The cast and crew delivered three nights of excellent and thought-provoking entertainment to appreciative audiences, who followed the story and the emotions as they travelled to various locations around School, from the Great Hall to 'summer camp' in the third-floor Studio Theatre!

The U18 and U15 Water Polo teams have begun an unprecedented attempt to defend their ESSA National titles for the third year running. The first leg of the competition for the U18s was held in the School's pool, while the U15 team played in Manchester. Both teams progressed to the National Finals with strong scores. The U13s will join their fellows in defending the third National title in May.

The Junior Girls' Music Festival allowed pupils in all four year groups to take part and showcase their talents over the course of two days. Parents, grandparents, pupils and staff enjoyed the wonderful music-making as the girls performed on a wide variety of instruments and impressed the adjudicators.

Local pupils in Year 5 are once again enjoying the SHINE: Serious Fun on Saturdays programme at Bolton School. These Gifted and Talented youngsters are challenged and inspired by these Saturday morning classes, led by Bolton School teachers and Sixth Form students, while also having fun over the course of eleven weeks.

The Girls' Division Senior swimming team tied for first place at the recent Bolton Schools' Swimming Championships!

On 27 February, Bolton School will host a free lecture from particle physicist Professor Jeff Forshaw. 'Universal: a guide to the cosmos' is based on his popular science book, written with Professor Brian Cox, and promises to be a fascinating and informative evening. The event is free and open to the public.

Bolton School is encouraging staff to join the Chartered College of Teaching to support this new professional body set up by teachers for teachers. The School is offering a contribution of more than 50% to all of its full- and part-time teachers who obtain first-year membership.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy Professor Malcolm Stevens OBE, FRS who attended the Boys' Division from 1944 to 1957. He gained a PhD in Pharmacy from Nottingham University and went on to to conduct groundbreaking research into treatments for cancer. His profile recalls his fondest memories of his time at Bolton School and his inspirational teachers.

Friday, 3 February 2017

3 February 2017

Fourteen Bolton School Sixth Form students have received offers from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge this year. This is a wonderful achievement for all five girls and nine boys, and the School wishes them luck in achieving the grades needed to accept their offers.

High Sheriff of Greater Manchester the Lady Smith of Leigh, who is an Old Girl, returned to the Girls' Division to offer an entertaining address in morning assembly. She talked about the history of her role and her duties today, as well as briefly touching on her memories of attending Bolton School.

The Lady Smith also visited the Junior Girls' School, where she enthralled pupils with more fascinating historical information and held a lengthy question and answer session with the curious girls. They were delighted to see her symbolic sword and learn more about the High Sheriff's crest.

Bolton School has placed top of the government's latest league table of local schools and colleges by A level results. The Girls' Division leads the table when a school or college is measured by the average point score performance per student and the Boys' Division is number one in the league when measured by the percentage of students achieving AAB grades or higher in the facilitating subjects.

The Junior Boys' School held its annual Music Festival, with over 145 individual performances taking place over two days! Pupils, staff and parents alike enjoyed the wide-ranging music, which included classes in piano, guitar woodwind, brass, recorder, percussion, strings, vocal and ensembles.

Children at the Nursery and attending the Nursery Class for 3 and 4 year olds had fun in special ball skills session run by a Bolton Wanderers coach. The sessions were tailored to fit each age group, with the younger children simply getting used to the equipment and the older ones learning some moves through play.

Girls' Division alumni, Sixth Form and staff held an unwanted jewellery collection in support of Alzheimer's Society in the run-up to the Christmas holidays. A representative from the charity visited the School to collect over 350 donated pieces, which will raise an estimated £600!

A pair of Junior Boys and a pair of Junior Girls spent a day filming with the BBC's Terrific Scientific crew. They were investigating what trees do for us and measuring how much carbon is contained in trees across the campus. The film will eventually be uploaded on the Terrific Scientific website in March or April.

Students in Years 12 and 13 enjoyed a day of improving their modern foreign language skills at the annual French Conference. They discussed a number of topics relating to their A Level studies with native speaker Richard Peltier, making this a great opportunity to stretch themselves and improve both confidence and ability.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy Frank Kenyon, who attended the Boys' Division from 1944 to 1952. After leaving Bolton School, he read Geography at Downing College, Cambridge, and completed his National Service in the Royal Artillery before becoming a teacher and ultimately headteacher.